From the Sidelines: JV Tigers show salt Monday

Published 10:33 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Demopolis junior varsity squad did something pretty remarkable Monday. While their efforts landed them only a 2-1 record on the day, the manner in which they went about their business cannot be overstated.

Fresh off spring break and a full day of classes, the junior Tigers showed up at the Sports-Plex expecting a double-header against Sweet Water. What they got was an experience many of them won’t soon forget.

The JV Tigers proved as game as ever when they overcame a two-run deficit in their final two at-bats to steal game one from Sweet Water. By game two, the team had hit its stride and cruised into the fifth with a 7-1 lead. After a shaky fifth allowed the Bulldogs to hang four runs on the board, the team wriggled off the hook, loaded the bus and shot across town to meet Thomasville’s JV in an impromptu contest.

They were worn. They were tired. And like most teenage boys, they were hungry. But the junior varsity Tigers scarcely let their spirits drop during the game. They continually encouraged one another from the first pitch to the last out. They played every play of that third game with the same intensity that was on display for each of previous two outings.

When it was all over, there was a moment of dissatisfaction. They had lost game three 1-0. And if anything is true about the JV Tigers, it is that they do not like to lose. Even though they had already played 10 innings before getting to Thomasville, they took it personally.

The loss snapped a seven-game win streak for them. It came against a team they badly wanted to beat. So while their accomplishments from Monday are obvious to even casual observers, the JV Tigers will likely use the evening as a learning tool.

The popular consensus seems to be that this particular group of players will have numerous accolades to their credit before they exit Demopolis High School. Yet this group isn’t keen on the notion of waiting its turn. It treats every game with an unmatched intensity and tries to make the most of every opportunity it is given. That approach unquestionably guarantees that championships and accomplishments are in the future for this year’s JV Tigers.

It may not register as anything special to them now. But odds are that somewhere down the line when baseball is little more than another memory woven into the tapestry of their youth, the players who took part in Monday’s events will remind one another of that night they played three straight games and came within a run of winning all of them.